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Monday, September 10, 2012

Intermittent Fasting: Tips and Strategies

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I am trying out Intermittent Fasting.

I have done the 24-hour "trial fast", so here are a few tips!

Things you can drink

You can't consume calories, but that doesn't mean you are off everything.  It's not a medical or religious fast, and it's not one of those goofy "cleanse" things where your colon is supposed to get a break!  You are only teaching your body how to deal without calories.
  • Black coffee - I've been using this a lot, decaf in the evenings and half-and-half the rest of the day
  • Diet softdrinks - I know, I know, I can hear the groans - not everyone is a fan. I've always enjoyed them though, and they keep the mouth busy with some flavour
  • Diet juices - Crystal Lite, etc. Again, not everyone's cup of tea. And speaking of tea...
  • Tea - healthy, hot, good
  • Water with lemon juice - Lemon juice has virtually no calories, so I pour a generous amount into my water. The sourness takes away a lot of hungry mouth feelings. I can't explain it, but it works for me!  Add sucrolose (Splenda) and you can make something that's a lot like Lemonade.
Things you should eat

Some people have success with sugar-free gum or mints.  I didn't try it.

Before or after fasting, supposedly it's good to eat a little extra protein. I already have a pretty high protein diet, but I added a glass of milk or some cheese. Seems to help carry me through.

Fasting Patterns

I have tried the 24 hour fast, which went quite well.  My hunger wasn't too overwhelming, and I really did feel better in the days following - not as hungry, energy high.  It could have been in my head, this isn't a scientific result, but there are scientific studies supporting this and it feels good - so I'm going to keep going with it!

Now I am trying the 16-hour fast for a full week.  Basically you adjust your eating pattern so you are off food for 16 hour periods, with an 8 hour eating window.  My chosen window is 11:30am-7:30pm - so no food in the few hours before bedtime and skip breakfast. 

I will update with my progress and findings - so far, so good!


David said...

I've been doing intermittent fasting on a "Leangains" style program since March, and I LOVE IT. Hopefully you'll have success too.

Jon P said...

Thanks, that's good to hear! So far I've only received positive feedback from those who have tried it, negatives come from those who haven't...